|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (May 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The Amazon Rainforest and surrounding region is the most biodiverse on earth and no life form is more diverse than the insects of the Amazon. No one can put any accurate figure on how many species there are but it has been estimated to be around 2.5 million species of insect with 700 species of beetle discovered on just one tree. There are 7,000 species of butterfly compared to 20,000 worldwide. One acre may have 70,000 species of insects alone. The rate of new species being discovered annually is around 10,000 with a majority in the Amazon River basin. The insects in the Amazon, like all tropical biomes, are larger and more colorful than their temperate counterparts.
The rainforest Canopy is where the greatest abundance of species of insects can be found. The canopy has only been explored for the last 20 years and is poorly documented; almost all species are entirely new to science and rarely can two specimens be found of the same species. Methods of collecting insects include fogging the trees with insecticides or by netting them.
The reason for such high diversity is the age of the forest which is around 100 million years old. Also the stable climate has allowed life forms to fill and create more niches in the ecosystem. But most of all is the relation with insects and plant, insects are almost inseparable from plants because they require each other to survive. In the Amazon most species of plants have only one species of moth or beetle to pollinate them successfully. So the enormous number of species of insects is obvious by the number of plant and tree species in the rainforest; 100,000 trees and 400,000 plants are known in the rain forest with many more waiting to be discovered.
Unfortunately the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest is driving many insect species to extinction before they can even be identified or seen by man. Each day dozens are going extinct because many species only live on a few acres range.